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Nintendo Responsible For Limited Use eShop Demos?


Both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U offer free downloadable demos from the Nintendo eShop. For some reason, the demos have a limited number of uses. Once you download a demo, you can play it a certain amount of times. For example, the Project X Zone demo has only five uses, even though the full game launches in more than two weeks. This means you can’t try out the demo every day leading up to the game’s release.

According to a publisher who’s had multiple use-limited demos released, Nintendo is responsible for the requirement. Do limited use demos bother you? Do you think five uses for the Project X Zone demo are sufficient? Let us know in the comments below.

131 thoughts on “Nintendo Responsible For Limited Use eShop Demos?”

    1. Seriously? I usually beat the demo in one go and delete it straight away after that. Why would you play the same demo 15 times?

      1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

        Some don’t get old. Platformers, multiplayer games, or upcoming games you crave have a lasting appeal.

          1. Exactly, Limited uses are fine, if they weren’t limited, a lot of people wouldn’t buy the full game.

            Also, this is Nintendo, they think of things like “we don’t want to spoil the full game by people getting bored of the game by playing the demo.”

      2. Are you kidding me? I wanted to play monster hunter 3 so bad that I play the demo down all the to 6 tries. Long story short it was a day one buy for me!

    2. Uhh hello! mother and i cant afford every game so wii tend 2 just download every demo in eshop and play it all the time but than it run out and we get sad because we cant afford real games.. :(

      1. Uhh hallo! I’ll b helpn get moni 4 fam wid ma new job tht peys $0.05 an hr. We won be por no mo soon!

    1. I hope not lol. Why would anyone want to play the same small chunk of a game over and over. I mostly play them once, Maybe twice.

      1. Same here, once to see what the game’s like, maybe once more to show to someone else, and then I pretty much know whether I’ll be buying it or not and delete it!

        1. Chances are, if there was a demo for SSB, then you’d probably get 2 characters to choose from and one stage to fight on, similar to only having 2 monsters on the Monster Hunter demo. That, for me, would limit the uses of the demo and encourage me to buy the game.

          1. Actually, if you recall, the demo for Super Smash Bros. Brawl had quite a few characters…
            Including Sonic, who was ultimately an unlockable character in the full version.

            Of course, there are 42 characters in the full version of Brawl, so, it didn’t hurt much to have about 15 in the demo. Did it?

        2. True. There is rare cases like that. I played the Monster Hunter Ultimate demo about 8 times so I am a little hypocritical. But 90% of demo’s only merit 1 maybe 2 plays.

          1. I played MH demo for Freaking 20 HOURS before game was released. Only game ever, thats demo has made me buy the game. And tha was only the demo. I have played full version over 190 hours.

    2. I played the original FF Dissidia on the PSP about 40-50 times!

      Admittedly that was the only demo I ever went overboard with. Surely it was the only time I played a demo more than 5 times.

  1. I think they should limit demos how they feel is needed. Playing a demo constantly just spoils the excitement because you sort of know how to play it already.

  2. nintendo basically saying done be a cheap ass like microsoft users n play demos all damn day buy the game ! inow people that play transformers war for cybertron demo online more than the full game also when phantsy star online was on live noone bought the fullversion there were millions of users milking the demo version so bravo nintendo make those penny pinchers buy your content i fully support this message!

  3. No idea what I was doing when I played Project X zone. I beat that black angel chick, but it wasn’t easy

  4. Nintendo, can you not?
    It’s funny how some people will be like “Nintendo can do anything they want because I suck their dick”
    Yet if a company like EA or Microsoft does it, they will be like “WTF EA/Microsoft, that’s not cool”

    1. It’s because a demo of a game is supposed to be a taste of the full game, not a substitute. If you like it, buy it and quit bitching. Cheap ass.

    2. No, it would be Xbox and PS fanboys who would have a problem with them limiting a demo. They are used to getting things free, then when us Nintendo fans are okay with something, people like you throw us into the general population. I had the great idea of the charging money for demos. You get to play a certain percentage of the game, and if you want it, you pay the remaining balance to unlock the rest of the game. Therefore the developers make a little money if you dont buy it.

  5. The limits aren’t too bad; is it really going to take you 50 playthroughs of a single-player demo to convince you to buy it? Now if it were a multilayer-centric game, like a fighting such of Smash Bros caliber, then there would be a problem.

  6. Remember what Nintendo said recently.. Length of game is not as important as quality… So their games are short. If they offer unlimited-use demos, chances are you’re going to complete the game in a short period of time without even buying it.

    1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

      That’s what ONE developer said about JUST Wonderful 101. What you said is very misleading.
      And if the game WAS short, the developers wouldn’t make a long demo. But most Nintendo games that have a story have a MINIMUM of 20 hours of solid gameplay. But games like Xenoblade took me 100 hours to beat the story (finished at like 101 hrs 43 mins). And I’m not slow, I just enjoyed the game and did side quests lol.

  7. Who the hell plays a demo that many times? I’ll play it once, and sometimes 2-3 times but nothing more. There’s no reason you should be playing a demo over 5 times

    1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

      I’ve played Fifa 13 like 8 times. It has fun gameplay but isn’t worth my money. So instead of wasting my money I just play the demo lol. If I had unlimited uses, I’d play it every day and never buy a Fifa xD

      1. You are the reason there is limited use demos, as there should be. If you like it, buy it, if you don’t think it’s worth it, then either wait for a sale or don’t buy it. Sports games should have time limit demos too, like ten minutes like monster hunter did.

        1. SherlockWillFightBilbo

          That’s exactly what I did. I didn’t think it was worth it, so I didn’t buy it. I played the demo 8 times because I COULD. I’m not some hacker who’s trying to get unlimited plays out of it.
          I’m not the reason demos have limited usage. I just play the demos (which is the POINT of them >.>).

          1. Mmm, missed the 8 times part. Must have read it quickly. Was getting pissed at people bitching that they aren’t getting free games. Even if it is short or dwarfed compared to the full version, if it’s unlimited, then it is a free game. Support the developers.

  8. I honestly don’t have a problem with the limited demo. I play the project X once and pre ordered that shit right away. That game is fun as hell and the combos looks sooo cool. I juggle enemies whole life bar in one sequence of attack. I won’t be playing the demo again. I will wait patiently for the full game.

    Get N or get OUT!!!!!

  9. The sad thing is that unlimited demos will make players less likely to buy the game, even it if is a good game. (Extra credits did a video on this ). Just be glad that if you play a demo that they don’t require you to sign a contract of some sort that requires you to buy the game or be sued or something.

    I’d love unlimited demos myself, but the sad thing is players only want free games these days.

    1. Wrong. I played the resident evil demo twice and knew I was buying it. Played that fifa game and nba game for one play each and knew I wouldn’t buy. Unlimited use is more of a deterant to buying the full game, especially if it is a routine game like most sports games.

      1. Because you liked RE, you bought it. In my case, I’d get the RE demo, probably like it for being a solid game, but not go further than that because horror games are not my type. Lost sale. It’s the unfortunate truth unless gamers promise to buy every single demo they get their hands on and then developers will have more incentive to have unlimited demos. Plus, the time it takes out of the development schedule to put out a demo just to have someone not buy the game because of it is not very much worth the extra effort.

  10. Here’s the downside: I can’t let other people (besides me) try the demo and buy a 3DS.

    At a friend’s house, he asked me if he could try my 3DSXL (he doesn’t have one). He played some of the demos I had like Lego Lord of the Rings and Fractured Soul and ended up saying he’d buy a 3DS (For Pokemon X Y, not Lego LOTR).

    What I mean to say is that while they may try to limit how many times I can play a demo, I only play demos once or twice. They should consider demos as ADS and open them up so that many try the demos and end up buying the game.

  11. If I love a demo enough to want to play it over and over until the full game is out, I leave the demo on in my 3DS, during it’s last use.
    No big deal to me.

  12. I believe the limited usage is a way to make parents of kids who cant tell if its a full game or a demo actually buy the game.
    Other-wise those clueless kids will be satisfied with the huge demo library their parents downloaded.

  13. I am calling bull, cause Final Fantasy Theatrhythm is set at unlimited. It is set by the publisher of the game.

  14. IDK, other than Fire Emblem Awakening when has a Nintendo first-party title gotten a demo? It’s most likely the publisher’s choice how many times a demo can be played rather than Nintendo.

  15. so some of you guys don’t care and some do. so making them limited makes some people happy. but making unlimited makes everybody happy cause the guys who don’t care can just delete after a while

  16. It’s fine by me because when you play a demo more than 5 times, it kinda make you want the game in some cases because playing a demo numerous times will just spoil you.

      1. The only time I understand were you play a demo multiple times is when you’re new or unfamiliar to the series and you want to see how it plays.

  17. 3ds eshop sucks bigg balls and club nintendo needs a new manager cuzz they keep putting shitty games every month can we get the 3ds xl docking station no we get fucking greating cards and petty shit like that miyamoto needs to go undercover boss on that ass

  18. Ganonseviltwinbrother

    It needs more than just five. How annoying I haven’t closed the app just so I can preserve how long I can play it.
    I find it Unnecessary

      1. that is the intention, but what do you do when the game doesnt come out for almost a month, huh. What do you do then? For example Project X Zone.

          1. Yeah, well, people usually don’t like having to wait for anything… It’s rare to find patience these days.

        1. Buy a game, watch a movie or end one of your unfinished games? This is no isue it makes people buy the game faster.

          1. maybe its my ADD, but your right, i have to be patient, this could easily be avoided if i could keep playing the damn demo though. oh well.

            ill probably jump back into Soul Sacrifice, or Metro.

  19. if you play more than 5 times or 3 times, it means you like it and stop buying so cheap and buy the damn thing

  20. It’s true Almost everyone delete the demo or never plays it after they beat it, but still why does Nintendo have to always be different? If someone doesn’t buy the game because of the demo it’s because they didnt like it, not because they played it 20 times, and decided they don’t need to buy the full game…

  21. I’ve yet to run out of times I can play any of my demos. The only demos that I played more than a few times were Resident Evil Revelations and Rayman Legends. However, I’m not sure this is a Nintendo rule. The Demo for Rayman Legends is now infinitely playable, and that was a decision by Ubisoft. Maybe Nintendo suggests, it, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen on PS4/XBO.

  22. doesn’t sound plausible to me

    it doesn’t explain why some demos are without limitation while others are with different numbers of uses…
    to me that reeks of publisher influence

  23. I think a cap is just fine as you want gamers to pay up. I think the cap shouldn’t go below 15 though, as you want those that want to try it before they buy it (the crowd demos are originally meant for) to at least get enough game time to be able to decide if they think it’s worth a buy or not!

  24. i say the smaller the demo or how long the demo is then it would correspond to the limit cap, the game was pretty short so i do agree with the 5 uses and someone did point out that they beat the demo in one go and delete afterwards, i do it too. im still going to buy it once it comes out and since it is less than 2 weeks away then i guess that also is why its 5 uses

  25. No. Within a couple plays you will know if you are going to buy it or not. It is called a demo for a reason. Most demo’s I have played I have only used a hand full of times because I know if I like it or if I don’t.

    1. Exactly^ With even just 5 “trys” on Project X Zone. I will probably only try it once before knowing if I’ll get it or not. 💋

  26. It is just a demo. People don’t judge a game based on how long it is. They judge it based on how great the gameplay was during the time(whether it be a long or short time) they played it. 💋

  27. They should make all demos like the POkemon Myster dungeon demo so people can finish the demo but cant go further without buying the full version


      yeah i thought that demo was the game, especially with saves, but just with linited uses. i was like “i can definately beat this game in less than 30 uses!” i had 1 hour of gameplay in that demo.

  28. There will be multiple Project X Zone demos, though, shown by the fact that the first one is subtitled “Demo A”.

  29. I don’t really see why it’s a big deal. I don’t see why anybody would want to play the same part of a game for several weeks straight anyways.


    me with harmoknight. everytime i played it, i tried to beat my high score. when i had 7 uses left, i got the game

  31. Honestly it’s not too big of a deal because it’s just a demo that will get boring after like playing three times and I buy most of the games on 3DS and Wii U anyway.

  32. They should give it a limit of 10 times because if someone uses the demo ten times and it runs out they are going to go buy it.

  33. Thenintendowatcher

    doesn’t really bother me I usually paly a demo five times or so seeing what I can do then delete it, the only demo I kept for a long time was mgs3 because you have so many things to do and experiment with. otherwise it doesn’t really bother me.

  34. I played the Rayman Legends demo a few times. If I played it any more I’d never want to buy it. So limited use is smart- I figure only the greedy would protest.


  36. Confidentially, I think it’s more of a ratio kind of deal with the demos. Because I just played the Project X Zone demo, which is a bit long due to it being a strat RPG game. So five chances are somewhat appropriate. But if it was say, an action-adventure platformer, then it should be at least 20-30 tries on the cap limit.

    I don’t really blame the Big ‘N’ for these caps because they want people to purchase the games, and give them a chance to like it. Also there’s the matter of people inadvertently beating a game before purchasing it. If you recall, Nintendo made this mistake once with the New Super Mario Bros for the DS, when they demoed it in stores. Since people technically beat the game, they felt no real reason for purchasing it.

    My real only beef is, I wish Nintendo would make more playable demos for their own upcoming games as well as letting Third Parties put out game people want to play rather than these small potato games no one wants to play.

    But hey, that’s just me.

  37. Ok, It’s a nintendo thing. But if the publisher doesn’t share this method, they can put the limit to 9999 uses. And problem solved. There is a reason publishers like this method

    1. Exactly, demos get boring after even as little as 5 uses anyway, if people want to play a game then they can buy the dam game lol

  38. Not sure what to make other than the fact that the Project X Zone demo’s use limit is insane. C’mon, Nintendo! I don’t mind 30 uses, but 5 is just stupid. Though perhaps maybe we’ll get another demo with more uses before the June 25 release date?

  39. The report doesn’t make sense.. Why would Nintendo limit some games to 30 uses and others to 5? This definitely seems like a developer-driven thing, instead of a Nintendo-driven thing.

    Personally, the use limits make sense to me. It’s a demo. It’s meant to be a sort of “appetizer” for the game, and you shouldn’t need more than 5-10 plays to get a feel for what the game is like and if you’ll want to buy it. 5 seems a bit strict, but whatever.

  40. Maybe it’s just to remind us it’s a DEMOnstration, not the full game.
    But yeah, when it’s 5 uses, sometimes you play sometimes and don’t pay attention because other game and stuff, and when you want to play again you’re out of uses, and you can’t form a concrete opinion about it and i might take you to not buying the game. For me it has to be limited, but not that much.

  41. But who ever uses a demo more than 2 or 3 times, there’s limited gameplay and it just gets repetitive after a while.

  42. To be completely honest, it doesn’t bother me at all. I can usually make the decision of buying a game or not on the first play, so I never play a demo more than once or twice anyways. Obviously Nintendo doesn’t want people to not buy the games because they play enough out of it with the demos, but I can see how some people with less money might be a little upset with the limited use function.

    1. Ok, everyone is passing over the actual topic. Everyone keeps saying “Nobody would buy the game if the demo was infinite” but we never said they need to make the demo longer. I’m just saying, for a game like x Zone where every play can be different, 5 uses isn’t enough. I burn through the uses in a snap. Now for other games with 30 uses like Pokemon demos, I hardly even use the first try.

  43. Yes, this really does piss me off. It’s like they know which games are good and give you the least uses for the best games. My brother bought the full x Zone and now it’s like he’s rubbing it in my face. I’m out of uses and I wish Nintendo wouldn’t put limitations on demos. It’s greedy, selfish and makes no sense.

  44. Also, nobody is explaining to me how infinite uses is a bad thing. It all comes down to how many times you want to play the demo, so those of you saying “If I played it too much I wouldn’t want the full game” it’s up to you when you wanna stop playing and delete the demo, so get a new alibi please.

  45. I know this is kind of old but Nintendo is indeed responsible for the demo limits because a more recent one made by Nintendo themselves (Mario and Luigi: Dream Team) has only 12 uses instead of 30 or unlimited. Where did 12 come from anyway? Why not 10 or 15?

    Limited uses would make sense if the demos were big, but they aren’t. Basically every demo is designed to be completed on 1 play through as there usually aren’t any save points anyway. Small demos don’t need a limit because if you like the demo chances are you will eventually buy the game for more content anyway. Besides the fact that many people don’t exhaust all their demo uses, and people who do can just format their 3ds to reset the demo uses so the limit is just pointless and annoying.

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